The 34th National Cultural Award has been conferred to Taiwanese poet Yu Kwang-chung, writer Chi Pang-yuan, and late architect Han Pao-teh. The three renowned cultural icons were honored for their remarkable cultural achievements. Both Premier Mao Chi-kuo and Culture Minister Hung Meng-chi attended the awards ceremony on Feb. 12 to pay the nation’s highest tribute to cultural professionals.
Writer Chi Pang-yuan
Chi began writing her masterpiece “River of Big Torrents” at the age of 81 to tell wartime stories in a tender tone.
“I wrote this book for my parents and family. My younger sister’s here [in Taiwan], and so are my children. What I hope is that people from — or before — my time, and those who died, suffered, fled, or were displaced, can have a lasting place in my book.”
Poet Yu Kwang-chung
Yu is known for “writing poetry with his right hand and prose with the left.” His literary works are well-known and part of every child’s school day memories.
“Culture includes literature and art and what is outside science’s realm. Actually, the pinnacle of science is also culture. So to receive a cultural award… I’ve won many literary awards in my life, but this is my only cultural award. It is not easy.”
Architect Han Pao-teh
Late architect Han combined humanities with design. He is deeply respected, appreciated, and remembered as an outstanding example.
“My father told me a month before he passed away that he was sorry about not being able to complete his work in aesthetics education. I reminded him then that aesthetics education is a public responsibility instead of his own. I consoled him that fortunately many of his outstanding students will take over the work and he won’t need to worry.” — Han’s daughter Han Ko-fan
Taiwan’s highest cultural honor
The National Cultural Award is the greatest cultural honor bestowed in Taiwan. Every recipient plays a key role in preserving Taiwan’s cultural heritage and strengthening Taiwan’s cultural power.